Does fat make you fat?
Eat fat, get fat – is this true? We’re here to debunk the popular myth around fat, as well as share some educational pointers about fat and how your health can benefit from it.
Understanding Dietary Fats
Fats are an important part of your diet but some types are healthier than others. Check out the types of fat below.
1. Saturated Fats
Saturated fat is a type of dietary fat that is considered as one of the unhealthy fats. These fats can be found in a variety of foods, example: butter, palm, coconut oils, cheese, and red meat.
2. Monounsaturated Fats.
3. Polyunsaturated Fats
Polyunsaturated fats include Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats. Omega 3’s reduce inflammation, support healthy hormone levels and cell membranes. Omega 6 fatty acids are important to support healthy brain and muscle functions. Example : Soybean oil, corn oil and sunflower oil.
4. Trans Fats
The worst type of fat is a form of unsaturated fat aka trans fats. There are two types of trans fats : natural and artificial trans fats.
Natural trans fats are formed by bacteria in the stomach of cattle, sheep and goats. These trans fats make up 3–7% of the total fat in dairy products, such as milk and cheese. On the other hand, artificial trans fats are mainly formed during hydrogenation, a process in which hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to form a semi-solid product known as partially hydrogenated oil.
Benefits of Fats
According to experts, fat consumption does not cause weight gain. To the contrary, it might actually help us shed a few pounds. Through various studies, such as one published by journal The Lancet, those who participated in low-fat diets were more likely to be linked with death by heart attacks and heart disease. In contrast, people who eat healthy fats combined with refined carbohydrates tend to lose weight and see other health benefits as well.
The body needs fat to function as it is essential for blood clotting and muscle movement, among others. It is a required element for cell membranes as well as protective shields around your nerves. Fats also help us absorb vitamins and minerals from the food we eat.
By choosing healthy fats, you can enjoy a range of healthy benefits such as:
- Lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Lower bad LDL cholesterol levels, while increasing good HDL.
- Prevent abnormal heart rhythms.
- Lower triglycerides associated with heart disease and fight inflammation.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Prevent atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries).
The evidence in favour of a low-fat diet is very thin, whereas the evidence for the benefits of certain fats is mounting. Fat does not automatically make you fat, as long as you know which type of fats you are consuming. In fact, choosing healthy fats from vegetable sources more often than less healthy types from animal products can help lower your risk for heart attack, stroke, and other major health problems.